The future of EU Research & Innovation: Horizon Europe 2.0?
By Ruth Estrada Dorronsoro
As the world faces unprecedented challenges in the areas of climate change, energy supply and biodiversity loss, the importance of research and innovation cannot be overstated. However, without open dialogue and the exchange of ideas, progress in these areas would come to a halt. At Schuman Associates, we believe that scientific discoveries can be translated into products and services that address these challenges, and we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve success through EU-funded research projects.
One way we stay up to date with the latest developments in EU research funding is through public consultations, such as the largest ever one held on the past, present, and future of the European research and innovation programmes, Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020.
The feedback from this consultation was impressive, with 2,788 responses and 265 position papers from citizens, research and innovation communities, and public and private organisations from across the EU and beyond. The input gathered will be incorporated into the Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe 2025-2027 and will help shape the next framework programme for European research and innovation for 2028 onwards.
The overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe improved cooperation across borders between partners in research and innovation, and that Horizon 2020 supported the common European Research Area. Respondents believe that Horizon Europe is also on track to develop, promote and advance scientific excellence.
The consultation highlighted the need for Europe to win the fight against climate change, secure and diversify its energy supply, and halt the dramatic loss of biodiversity.
Respondents felt that Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe could have done better at bringing innovation to the market. In response, the New European Innovation Agenda was launched to position Europe at the forefront of the new wave of deep tech innovation start-ups and scale-ups.
Many respondents also felt that the limited budget prevented participation in these programmes, and that participation required more effort than other international research and innovation programmes, which led to a potential loss of excellent projects. There is therefore a need to reflect on how to simplify European research and innovation programmes and attract more excellent proposals, so Europe can leverage the full potential of its researchers and innovators.
How can we help?
At Schuman Associates, we believe that we can create a better future for all by working together to deliver greater impact from excellent research and innovation. We offer expert knowledge of the opportunities offered by Horizon Europe and the synergies that can be created with other programmes, such as the Digital Europe Programme, Erasmus+ and the environment fund, LIFE.